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The Gosforth Cross

(click images to enlarge)

The Gosforth Cross stands in St Mary’s churchyard, Gosforth (Grid. ref. NY072036).


The cross is c. 4.5 m (15 ft) tall with a rounded lower shaft and a square section upper shaft. The sandstone is weathered, but much of the sculpture is still clearly visible. The early drawing on the left shows details that have now become obscure through recent deterioration.

It dates from the first half of the 10th century and employs a form of Viking decoration known as Gaut’s interlace. The name comes from its use on Gaut’s Cross in the Isle of Man.

The cross is of particular interest because of a number of scenes that relate to scenes from Norse mythology.

The next page examines some of these mythological scenes.